Blackwater Tidy Towns present ‘wishlist’ to council in a bid to win a national award in the prestigious competition


Cllr Oliver Walsh.© Fine Gael

thumbnail: Blackwater.
thumbnail: Cllr Oliver Walsh.
Amy LewisGorey Guardian

A “wishlist” of projects was presented by Chairperson of Blackwater Tidy Towns Doug Taylor to Gorey-Kilmuckridge councillors recently as he sought assistance in sprucing up the village in the hope of winning a national award.

In a deputation at the May meeting of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council, Mr Taylor highlighted the town’s ongoing success in the National Tidy Towns competition, saying that Blackwater came in fifth place last year, and four points behind the overall winner. He informed the members that the town has been nominated for the ‘Best Kept Town in Ireland’ title, with adjudication due to happen from May through to August.

Mr Taylor noted that Blackwater Tidy Towns group are doing all they can to secure this title, but said there are some projects that go beyond their capacity. He presented a list of these to the members in the hope that they could offer some assistance.

The projects included: assistance to replace mud with compacted gravel at Mill Race Lane; implementation of white lining and road safety measures; resurfacing of the roads; a visit by the road sweeper which is more thorough than previously; replacement of the street light at the Music Garden; a solution to the issue of people parking on pathways at the shop and pubs; repair work on a piece of defective path outside the community centre; a path towards Kilmuckridge and down to Ballyconnigar Beach; refreshment of the village signs; information on long-term plans for a beach car park and a solution to the slippery metal bridge.

“I concur with the school on the issues of road safety and the need for white lining on the roads,” he said. “When we are resurfacing, if there is an opportunity to bury overhead cables to clear up the visual impact, that would be appreciated too.”

Chairperson Councillor Donal Kenny thanked Mr Taylor for his presentation and commended the group’s work to date.

"We want to keep communities like this working and we want to be helping out with those doing voluntary work as best we can.”

These compliments were shared by Councillor Oliver Walsh, who noted that Doug and the Tidy Towns team had worked hard for the last number of years for the benefit of Blackwater.

“Since Doug has taken over, he has increased the points Blackwater have received year on year, which is huge,” he said. “To keep increasing the points is a great achievement and it is down to the work of you and your team.”

"Blackwater has such a good name in the Tidy Towns and is on the verge of winning a national prize here. With a little bit of help from the Council, we could go that step further and win that prize, which has huge tourism potential for Blackwater and the whole area.”

Cllr Walsh said that most of the things outlined by Mr Taylor were achievable. He noted that the metal bridge needs to have a proper finish put on it and said that funding was being sought in order to carry out that work, and work on resurfacing the laneway.

"We need to get behind this project and I can assure Doug we will give him all the help that we can to go that final step to win the national award.”

Director of Services Liz Hore said that Blackwater Tidy Towns is a “phenomenal success”.

"It really is an absolute testament to all the hard work that goes into it. From a Council perspective, we are very proud,” she said.

While Executive Engineer Joanne Kehoe was unable to answer to the deputation, she later offered some feedback on where the Council could chip in with some of the projects in Blackwater.

Ms Kehoe noted that the Council could address the issue with the path outside the community centre, while also reiterating that the road resurfacing and lining work would soon be addressed. She said that she would flag the street light with County Hall but informed the members that lights can only be upgraded in cases where Wexford County Council owns the poles. Where the ESB owns the poles, the Council must make an application to the ESB for upgrades but this process can be “very slow”.

In relation to the path extension towards Kilmuckridge, Ms Kehoe said that this can be looked at under the Active Travel Scheme.